Recently, hackers have made headlines whether they are debated anti-hero group, Anonymous, or possible terrorist. “Hacking” is a hot topic and a hot-button topic: who isn’t sucked in by a headline that involves someone’s personal information being hacked. It’s a term jokingly thrown around by “life-hackers” who are really just offering tips and tricks to making some aspect of life a little easier or more convenient.
The ugly side of hacking is when someone’s information– personal, financial, etc– is put at risk.
With so much of our information and personal lives put in the digital sphere, there is a high chance that you might be hacked. But fear not: there are simple methods you can use to protect yourself.
Netflix is an easy target for lower-tier hackers. Imagine settling in for a nice binge-sesh and you realize all of your “Sharktank” episodes have been replaced by “Tila Tequila.”
This would be our reaction, too.
Unfortunately, the truth is stranger than fiction. “Dark Web” black markets steal and sell your Netflix account information like a pickpocket on the street would steal and sell your credit cards.
Ward off hackers by staying on top of your account and following these simple steps:
1. Go to your account page and sign out EVERYONE who has access
Some general hack-proof practices to keep in mind are…
1. Be wary of hotspots. It’s incredibly easy to spy on your emails and online activity in public Wi-Fi hotspots. It’s not 100% inevitable that someone else in that coffee shop will be eavesdropping on your Facebook page while you sip your latte, but it’s not 100% secure either.
Verify the hotspot ID and password with the staff, not other customers. Hackers might go the easy route and set up a hotspot similar to the one being offered. Also limit the type and number of sites you visit while using a public hotspot. That lessens the likelihood that you’ll reveal anything worth stealing by a hacker.
2.Get a password manager. This means shelling out some cash, but in the name of protection, it’s worth it in the long run. Programs like 1Password are available across several platforms including Android, iPhone, Mac, and Windows. It utilizes Dropbox instead of the Cloud to store your information and relies on one VERY secure skeleton key password that then gives you access to ALL of your passwords. While a little labyrinthian in theory, it makes hacking your data much more difficult.
3. Make a VPN your BFF. As opposed to an IP address, which broadcasts the websites you use, a Virtual Private Network makes monitoring your online activity more difficult to trace. Information going between your computer and the VPN is encrypted as opposed to unencrypted IP addresses.
So do your research. Find password managers that have reputable developers and be aware of who else has access to public hotspots. In the digital age, it’s best to be armed to the teeth when it comes to protecting yourself and your private information.